Saturday, June 11, 2005

Bolero, My God

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The tie-front bolero sweaters seen everywhere provide today's uniform of T-shirt and jeans with an elegant high-waisted Empire silhouette. The minisweater, of stretch jersey or knitted, sometimes resembles a bra with sleeves. —Bill Cunningham, NY Times
I was in an old 1920s apartment in Echo Park sipping beers with some girls. The profile of Jamie’s face revealed an extreme, classical beauty, to the point of deformity. She talked about the dissolution of her association with a guy who grew too busy for her, stopped even reassuring her. “All he had to do was call me and say he missed me. That’s all.” I didn’t catch what her day job is, but she’s a photographer when she can be.

I shook my head and said, “men.”

The Pretenders Greatest Hits is the best breakup album according to Jess. She’s petit, but her charisma is giant. She's from the South, accent intact. To make her laugh is to feel like a winner. She puts her all into laughing at my jokes, all anguish and glee. She had on these super tight indigo blue jeans, a white shirt, and a belt that was a snake eating its tale. “Is it real?” I asked.

“Of course it is.”

I touched it. It was plastic. Only later did I ponder the implications of that belt. Fashion as philosophical statement… Feedback loop, self-annihilation…

Shortly thereafter I found myself further inebriated, with the plastic six pack rings a bracelet, my hot new accessory. The conversation was about fashion, full throttle, and Bill Cunningham’s On the Street last week popped into my head and rage started rising.

I have a special rancor for the fashion atrocity that is the bolero. My guess is that Cunningham does too. “I mean what can be appealing about a bra with sleeves? Who decided that this was attractive? I’m convinced that whoever propagated this style is a cynical, cynical gay man. Suddenly, ‘fashion aware’ women everywhere are tying ratty sweaters right below their breasts. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it. What’s next? Prada clown shoes? Why? Why do women constantly fall into step with ridiculous fashions? What’s wrong with these people?!!”

The neighbor came. Too loud. I was screaming. Enraged. Time to go home.


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